Sometimes great things come in small packages. One-shot manga can provide just as much reading enjoyment as series several times longer. The 10 nominees for 2008's poll were a diverse group, but in the end, Yusaku Hanakuma's raw and wild Tokyo Zombie claimed top honors in this category.
Mitsuo and Fujio are two working stiffs who would rather wrestle than work. But when they kill and bury their annoying supervisor at the Dark Fuji dump, they set in motion an invasion of the undead. In zombie-infested Tokyo, the rich start exploiting the poor for entertainment, and the two buddies are reunited in a fateful martial arts match.
A flamenco dancer and an actor. A painter with artists block and a gallery owner. An aging punk legend and an up and coming rocker. The common thread that binds the short stories in Seduce Me After The Show is that the men here are all creative souls, who are as passionate about their art, music and dance as they are about each other. Instead of boys love, est em gives readers a taste of mature men in grown-up, but no less romantic relationships.
3rd place: Shirley
From the creator of Emma comes a one-volume collection of slice-of-life short stories about maids set in Victorian England. The main set of stories focus on Shirley, a 13-year old girl who is hired (reluctantly) by Miss Cranley, a single woman who runs a successful café. Although Shirley makes a few mistakes along the way, the two young women discover that they're more than just servant and employer -- they've become good friends.
Meiko is a Tokyo twenty-something who feels like life is passing her by. Her office job bores her to tears. Her slacker / frustrated musician boyfriend Naruo can barely get by with his part-time job, so he moved in with her. To Meiko, adulthood has proven to be grossly overrated. But a fateful event knocks her for a loop and re-awakens Meiko's passion for life.
Paifu is a half-vampire, half-were-koala kid who does what monster kids do: he goes to school, he plays 'angel tag' with his friend Jose the ghost, and when the moon is full, he turns into a raging, rabid monster koala. But when a deadly epidemic of the monster flu comes to town, Paifu and his pals are sent on a mission to fetch medicine. However, going to meet the Witch of Horned Mountain is no trip to the corner drugstore, and these monster kids just might be in over their heads.
6th place: Goth
In this manga adaptation of the best-selling Japanese novel, two teens share a dark obsession with death and extremely grisly murders. As these kindred souls find themselves attracted to each other, their interest in the dark side brings them closer to cold-blooded killers, and perhaps closer to death than they'd like.
"This manga has a positive outlook on life, so it has been made with as much realism removed as possible." When the pressures of his life as a manga artist became too much to bear, Hideo Azuma decided to get away from it all. But he didn't take a vacation -- Azuma ran away from his family and work obligations and become a homeless person. Disappearance Diary is his mostly true and mostly funny account of his days on the streets, as a dumpster diver, as a blue collar worker and eventually, as an alcoholic in rehab.
Japan rose from the ashes and rubble of World War II to become one of the world's major business and industrial superpowers. But the rapid pace of Japan's economic evolution came with a human price. The men and women featured in Yoshihiro Tatsumi's Good-Bye deal with feelings of anger and alienation that they can barely contain and bitter memories that they can never forget.
Without words, Yoiichi Yokoyama lets his percussive and kinetic art propel readers through this one-shot story. In Travel, three men take a train ride, meet people and see interesting places and events along the way. It sounds pretty simple, but as in New Engineering, Yokoyama's prior book from Picturebox, even the simplest scenario offers opportunities to show man and machines interacting in surreal and surprising ways.
Author & Artist: Jiro Taniguchi
Publisher: Fanfare - Ponent Mon
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From the creator of The Walking Man and The Ice Wanderer comes another outdoors adventure. This time Jiro Taniguchi tells a detective story that goes from the heights of the Himalayas to the depths of the backstreets of Tokyo. Shiga is tormented by the memory of his friend who died while climbing Mount Everest. When he's called to help find his friend's missing daughter, Shiga finds that he must use all of his wits, strength and even his mountaineering skills to find her.